Written by Mfundo Jiyane, SSA Youth Influencer Gauteng
It was all hands on deck when the Cubs, Scouts, parents and Adult volunteers of the Maru Scout Group in the community of Tsakane in Gauteng decided to clean up their neighbourhood after noticing the amount of litter left behind.
“It is vital to keep our community and surrounding areas clean. Not only for humans but for animals and plants too”, explains adult leader Kamo. ” As Scouts it is our duty to create a better world and to create solutions to environmental issues. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 12.6 million deaths each year are attributed to unhealthy environments. In light of the recent lockdown, we noticed a lot of rubbish being left unattended by the municipality. So as adult volunteers we decided to lead by example and to involve Scouts and parents in cleaning up the neighbourhood.”
“The cleaning up project took place at the Faranani Multi-Purpose Centre and surrounding areas in Tsakane”, he continues. “It took us approximately 4 hours of walking and picking up litter to fill about 20 bags. On the day Cubs, Scouts, parents and leaders took part in this initiative to maintain a clean environment. It was of great interest to educate the kids present about the negative impacts caused by unhealthy environments and ways to make it better, as this helps keep diseases away and fosters growth and development of children: a clean environment is essential for healthy living!”
“Another main point of the project was to teach ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle,” added Kamo. ” We received a positive response from the community. Most passers-by wanted to join us in picking the litter. The plan was to make the project quarterly and involve community members as well as other Scout Groups in the area but due to the rising numbers of Covid-19 we had to withdraw the plan for some time.”
“It is always nice to be part of the Scouts project,” says one parent. “We helped them in the cleaning up project and it felt good to be part of it. They help us not only to bond with our kids, but to make a positive impact in the community. Seeing your kids doing nice things at a young age helps build trust and a strong bond with them. It is a reassurance that they will grow up to be greater citizens and that is why we introduced them to Scouting in the first place. It is very challenging to raise kids these days in such a cruel world so we thank Scouting for keeping our
kids safe and away from the street.”